Sergeant sacked and 3 PCSOs quit after breaking police rules

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A POLICE sergeant was sacked and two police community support officers quit after internal investigations discovered that they were inappropriately using the force computer system.

Another PCSO from Grantham also quit after being found to have unsuitable associates.

Sergeant Carl Podesta was suspended by Lincolnshire Police in May 2011 following the start of internal disciplinary proceedings and criminal proceedings for breach of data protection in relation to searches of police computer systems.

In September he was sacked from the force and this month he was found guilty of the offences at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court and fined £500.

Two PCSOs, one from Grantham and the other based at Stamford quit after another internal investigation into misuse of the force computer system.

The names of the officers have not been released, despite repeated requests from the Journal.

The computer systems are used for a variety of different reasons including recording information about crimes and vehicles, although it is not known what was discovered in the investigations.

Neither of the officers are facing criminal proceedings.

Superintendent Rick Hatton of Lincolnshire’s Police Professional Standards Department said: “There are strict rules and policies governing the use of police information technology systems. Within Lincolnshire Police there are a number of security systems and checks in place to identify and interrupt any use of IT systems which does not comply with force policy or which may be illegal.

“The force treats breaches of IT rules and regulations with the utmost seriousness and will thoroughly investigate and take action against people who abuse and misuse the systems.”

In another incident a Grantham PCSO quit because of their associates.

Supt Hatton added: “Lincolnshire Police can confirm that a PCSO from the Grantham area recently resigned after being spoken to by a supervisor regarding one of their associates.

“This person was deemed unsuitable to be given the role of the PCSO within the Lincolnshire Police.”

The officer, who has not been named by police, has not faced any criminal proceedings.